House Extensions & How They Can Be Beneficial For Homeowners

What is a house extension?

A house extension is a development procedure to a property that expands the usable space, this can be achieved either through an internal extension (known commonly as a loft conversion or a basement conversion) or through external house extensions.

What Are The Benefits Of Extending Your Home?

  • You will have more usable living space, more rooms in the house are always desirable and can be used for a range of purposes, home cinema, gyms’ additional bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Home extensions increase the value of a property, adding a loft conversion or a basement conversion to a home can increase the properties’ value by 25%, two storey extensions can add overt 30% to the value of a property, making it easy to see why so many people opt for expanding the home they live in rather than purchasing a new property.
  • Rental options, having additional space opens a homeowner up to the prospect of receiving rental income from the additional space (it’s becoming more and more popular among homeowners to rent out their loft space to tenants).
  • Aesthetics, house extensions can develop the perimeter and surface area space of a property giving the appearance of a large “mighty” property that makes a statement with it’s design.
  • Additional storage space, some people choose to extend their home for the most simple of purposes, additional storage room can be made from additional space in a property.

How Long Does It Take To Build A Home Extension?

This is dependant on several different factors:

  1. The size and complexity of the extension: Some properties are larger than others, and some designs are more complex and require more bespoke elements than other properties.
  2. The availability of the extension builders that you choose to work with, good builders are generally busy people, you could be on a waiting list for some time, so choose carefully.
  3. How common the materials are that are being used, are there bespoke materials to be used according to the plans? If so, this could increase the time taken to source the materials for the project
  4. How long it takes to gain planning permission for the extension, commonly expansions to a property require planning permissions, (planning permissions are permissions for a building project from the local authority).
  5. Are there works being carried out on the property that need to be completed prior to the extension? (self explanatory)

There are other factors but these are the main ones, most of them are workable, and aren’t automatically an issue that means an extension cannot go ahead or the approach cannot be adapted.

How Much Does A House Extension Cost?

Usually a house extension will cost in the ballpark region of £1,000-£1,200 per square metre, but again this will be dependant on the complexity and whether or not there are specific materials to be used on the extension.

The best option in most cases with a question like “What will be the price of my extension?” is to speak with a specialist builder, who will be able to answer these questions for you, in a way that is tailor made for your project.

How To Choose The Best Company For My Extension – Quick Tips

  1. Make sure that the builders are accredited, they will need a CSCS card and they should have SMSTS training, a City and Guilds Certificate is desirable.
  2. Check their pricing, think about comparing the quote you receive from the builder with quotes from other building companies’ to make sure that the quotes are fair and reasonable.
  3. Make sure that the company you choose for your home extension will be available to carry out the work in the time-frames you’re looking for, in the event they can’t you may need to either re-think your plans, or re-think the building company you work with.

Proceed with care when planning your project and choose a company that can meet your needs and expectations, it is advisable to check on a portfolio if there is one available to review, it is always a good policy to check on previous works from a company before proceeding with any build project.

5 Tips for Renting an Apartment

With an increasingly tight rental market and less vacancies than ever, finding an apartment is a stressful affair for most. If you happen to be moving to a new city, things can get even more hectic. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prepare yourself for the process ahead. Here are five tips to make renting your next apartment easier.

1. Know what to expect for your rental market.

Renting an apartment will be different all over the country, and knowing the market in your area will help keep your expectations realistic. In cities where real estate is the hottest rental criteria are most stringent, and you can expect to pay first and last month’s rent as a deposit and higher rent each month than you would in other locations. In some places, a small security deposit and application fee are all you need to pay to snag a new place.

2. Decide what you can and can’t live without.

We all have our idea of what the perfect apartment looks like, but you should know you probably won’t end up with that exact image. Still, you can get something that’s fairly close. Figure out what you absolutely can’t live with and what you definitely won’t go without in your next apartment. For instance, exposed brick walls, updated appliances, and a spa tub may be things you want but can compromise on, while living on the first floor, having washer and dryer connections, and being able to bring along your pet may be must-haves.

3. Use an apartment locator or agent if your search gets tough.

This is helpful in large rental markets, as real estate agents have access to listings that may not be online. They also know key information about the area you’re moving into, and their services are typically free.

4. Know your credit score.

Most landlords and apartment complexes these days will check your credit score to determine the deposit you’ll pay or decide if they’ll rent to you at all. If you have bad credit, some landlords will be willing to rent to you with a larger deposit, especially if you have a stable job and a positive rental history. However, one way to avoid wasted application fees and rejections due to having marginal credit is opting for no credit check rentals. You can find no credit check apartments here.

5. Pay attention to the neighborhood.

Everyday people sign leases based on how an apartment looks inside without accounting for the neighborhood around it. Your particular rental may be fine, but you could be a block or so away from a rundown complex that’s crime ridden. Or you may have kids and not notice before moving in that the majority of your neighbors aren’t friendly towards families.

No matter how great an apartment’s interior is, such scenarios can make living there a terrible experience. It’s also important to consider how long your commute will be and whether there are quality grocery stores, restaurants, and other amenities that you’re used to in the area before signing a lease.

Give Your Old Kitchen a Fresh Look with New Appliances

The kitchen is the heart of the home, which is why it’s one of the most commonly renovated rooms in the house. The problem: taking on a kitchen renovation is quite expensive, and may not be feasible in all situations

This is especially the case if you’re renting your home or you plan to sell it in a few years. If you can’t knock out any of the walls in your kitchen, change the counters and cabinetry, or paint the walls, there’s one important thing you can do to revamp the area’s entire look: get new appliances. It’s much cheaper than a remodel and you’ll be amazed at how great the finished result is.

The Refrigerator

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The refrigerator is one of the most noticeable appliances in any kitchen, so it’s definitely worth replacing if you’re trying to achieve a new look. All fridges are not made equally, and some are seriously stylish.

The French door models look nice and are good for keeping your food organized, and there’s all types of finishes available these days. Some have wood facades, while others are made of stainless steel that’s fingerprint resistant.

The Stove

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Another key appliance to target during your kitchen makeover is the stove. This is where you can get really creative, as there’s a seemingly endless number of range, stove, and oven styles on the market today.

Want a modern and stylish feel? You can get an upscale stove that not only looks wonderful but performs superbly. If farmhouse chic is more your style, there are ranges that will turn your kitchen into the space of your dreams.

The Coffee Maker

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One essential appliance in many homes is the coffee maker, but some models don’t look so great. If you’re going for aesthetics and you also need a machine that will keep going strong for years and brew a tasty cup of java, the Nespresso coffee maker is an ideal pick. Its footprint isn’t imposing so it will fit into any kitchen, even modestly sized ones.

The machine looks fantastic, and will be a real showpiece in your kitchen. Best of all, it makes coffee that will rival that of any cafe — you’ll find yourself preferring the coffee you make at home with the Nespresso.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to get appliances that are 100 percent new. Scratch and dent stores have good bargains that aren’t actually scratched or dented, and you can often find discounted appliances at big box and home improvement stores.

If you’re on a really tight budget, it’s also possible to buy spray paints and vinyl covers made just for appliances — these are good options if your appliances work well but you simply want a new look.

To achieve a cohesive looking kitchen, aim to have your appliances complement each other. For instance, if you have a stainless steel fridge but you’d like a new black oven, try to find one with stainless steel accents to help pull the space together. If you’ve been itching for a new style in your kitchen, improve its appearance and functionality with new appliances — the results will be well worth it.

4 Tips for the Best Minimalist Environment

Introduction

There are many different ways to design a space in a home or an apartment. The type of decor that you choose is normally based on your personal preferences and the money you have. So, for those interested in the minimalist design, be sure to follow these tips.

#1 – Choose Minimalist Furniture to set the tone in a room

Minimalist Furniture

Setting the tone for a minimalist design doesn’t have to be difficult, especially since there are different kinds of furniture that can be grouped into this category.

Natural wood, leather, glass and stainless steel are the materials that can be selected because they can provide the room with a sleek appearance. The homeowner should also focus on selecting furniture that is considered to be low-slung. Meaning furniture pieces that are closer to the floor. Many times the owner can start their collections by choosing seats, tables, and fireplaces that will fit well.

#2 – Select Minimalist Friendly Decorations and Accessories

What are minimalist friendly decorations? One of the essential keys to decorating a room with a minimalist décor is to create concealed storage spaces. These spaces must be kept open by only putting functional items in specialized spaces. So, for those people who tend to big pack racks, there will a big change or this style may not be a good fit for them.

Meaningless accessories in the room must be kept to a minimum to prevent cluttering up the design. It is also important to note that there are acceptable accessories that can be used a little bit more liberally.

For instance, a few candles in a room can be quite appropriate because they provide natural lighting.

#3 – Minimalist Lighting

Minimalist Lighting

What types of controls should be put in place to create minimalist lighting? When you get started, there are quite a few things that you can do yourself. However, there are some features in a minimalist design that may require assistance from an outside source, specifically interior design professionals who work in the industry.

For instance, when I was living in India, I solicited help from some of the best interior designing companies in the area. This was because they could help with a number of different areas including identifying the best places to install natural lighting. These professionals were also available to assist with the lighting that was considered to be the best ultra-high energy efficient sources.

#4 – The Walls and Floors

Floor and Wall

In a minimalist design, it is also important for the individual to pay special attention to the walls and the floors. The colors used can open the area up to appear much bigger or reduce the appearance of the size dramatically.

So, for those of you who are working to ensure your design fits and looks as it should, it is important to know that white is the most commonly used for the walls, while natural stone colors and neutral tones are best for the flooring.

Essential Tools Needed for the Garden

Introduction

A lot of people like to spend time in their garden, planting and tilling the ground, but before getting started, however, it’s important to have the proper tools to do this work effectively. The tools used can make the job easier and more enjoyable.

Spade or Shovel

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What is a shovel used for? This tool is used to dig and remove the soil as it is needed. It will allow the gardener to dig up the soil and remove it with precision so it makes these jobs much easier. With its shape, the gardener can scoop up the soil and remove it when planning all kinds of different flowers, shrubbery, trees and other things that everyone likes to plant in order to create a beautiful décor in their yard.

Chainsaw

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One of the most valuable assets that people will need is the chainsaw. This is because the chainsaw can be used for a number of different things around the outside of the home. Specifically, when they are in the garden area, especially since the user can cut down large branches that have growing in the wrong places. Choosing the right kind of chainsaw can be a little difficult so you should read multiple chainsaw reviews prior to making the final decision.

Garden Hoe

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Another essential tool that the gardener cannot leave out is the garden hoe. The garden hoe is also used for digging up the ground and removing the soil. Before buying a garden hoe, there are a few things that you should know.

The garden hoe is available on the market in several different types. The type of garden hoe chosen will depend on several factors, which includes taking into consideration the size since the bigger size garden hoes can dig through large weeds and the like.

Additionally, for those who want to make sure that they have the right tools when they are cutting through the top soil with precision, they will need to have a warren garden hoe handy.

Trowel

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Similar to the garden hoe, the trowel is also used to dig up the ground. In fact, the trowel is normally used to dig up small holes and then moving the soil from one place to another. It has been designed with a pointed blade and is shaped just like a scoop.

However, the length of this tool is much longer than the blade that is attached to the spade. You can use the trowel for a wide variety of purposes including digging and planting holes for things like vegetables, perennials, annuals as well as other kinds of small plants.

In addition to digging up a hole to place the seeds of different vegetables, this tool is great for lifting up the entire plant from its soil. Therefore, this tool can be used for transplanting. This is also a tool that works very well with mixing the soil, weeding out the unwanted weeds and etc. and mixing the soil for further cultivation.

Garden Rake

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Keeping a garden rake in the shed of a home is very commonplace. So, the garden rake can be used for numerous essential purposes. Some of which are more notable than others, which includes raking up the leaves and other fallen debris from each garden.

Rakes are used to tilling the soil so it helps with getting rid of the clumps in order to make the soil smoother. This tool can come in different sizes as well as materials since people may make their choices between, wood, metal or plastic. The metal garden rake is the norm in many places since they are designed to last much longer.

Taking care of a garden takes skill along with the appropriate kinds of tools. Therefore, the gardener will need to review each type along with their functions.

Five amazing blogs on home improvement and remodeling

Home renovation work is not easy. It takes huge preparation and resources. There are many home improvement blogs now that can help you to learn more about the bits and pieces of home remodeling. Here are five great blogs that you should follow.

Design Sponge

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It is a blog for DIY projects inspirations, travel tips, food recipes and other lifestyle items. It is one of the best home renovation blogs you will find today.Every day one million readers visit this site for ideas and inspirations. The blog is written by Grace Bonney. She has worked for many top magazines, and she shares useful tips with the readers.

Remodelaholic

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It is written by husband and wife Justin and Cassity. It is a great blog for DIY projects. This blog gives you tips so that you can complete your home renovation project within a tight budget. You will see before and after images of many houses. The blog focuses on reducing, reusing and recycling products. You can learn how to use your old objects in new ways.

Houzz

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This is a very professional blog. It is full of tutorials, ideas, and tips on various aspects of home remodeling. You will get access to more than three million photos to help you get ideas for your next project. You will find ideas for the kitchen, living, gardening, outdoor, lighting, décor, and more.

Centsational Girl

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The blog, written by Kate Riley, will give you good affordable home remodeling ideas. If you are looking for cheap home renovation, then you should visit this blog. There are tutorials and tips to transform your house when you have a small budget.

Décor Chick

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This blog is meant to the upper middle-class community. Here you will find amazing decorating and renovation ideas for your home. You will find ideas for room decorations, tips for choosing paint, suggestions for seasonal décor, etc.

With these blogs, home improvement is no longer painful. By following the guidelines given on these blogs, you can make your home renovation project a successful one.

Four tips on finding the perfect contractors for your home improvement project

To obtain best results in your home improvement project, you need to hire a good contractor. There are many factors involved in taking the decision. Here are four tips on finding the right contractor for your project.

1. Ask for recommendations

If you have a friend who has done this kind of work recently, you can ask him or her for the recommendation. If you admire any of your neighbor’s home, then you can ask the neighbor about which contractor was hired. If you like the work of the contractor and get positive reviews about them, then write down the name and contact details of these contractors.

2. Check out the credentials

You should do some research on contractors. You need to visit the contractor’s website and learn about their specialties and the latest projects they have worked on. You should also verify the contractor’s license and other certifications.

3. Interview shortlisted contractors

You should shortlist at least three candidates for interviewing. You should hire someone who communicates well. You should ask questions to understand that they have good knowledge about home renovating works and that they understand your requirements.

4. Check references

You should always check the references the contractor has given you. You can speak to the homeowners the contractor has worked recently with and ask them about the quality of work provided by the contractor.

You should take the time to hire a contractor for your next home remodeling project. The outcome of your project will depend on your selection of contractors.

Average costs to paint siding

Painting costs may vary according to the construction material of the house. Some materials are more expensive to paint than the others due to the texture. Sometimes, it takes more paint to cover them. Here is a rough guide to the cost.

Concrete siding: between $500 and $2,000 for 250 sq. ft. to 1,000 sq. ft.
Metal siding: between $400 and $1,500 for 250 sq. ft. to 1,000 sq. ft.
Stucco siding: between $900 to $3,000 for 250 sq. ft. to 1,000 sq. ft.
Vinyl siding: between $600 to $2,000 for 250 sq. ft. to 1,000 sq. ft.
Wood siding: between $700 to $2,000 for 250 square feet to 1,000 square feet.

You should consider the cost of paint, supplies and other things in addition to these costs to calculate the total cost of painting the exterior of the house. A 2,100 square feet home will need 12 gallons of paint. You need double coating, so 24 gallons will be required. The cost of paint ranges from $30 to $70. So, on average, the cost of your paint will be $840. You should spend $200 to $300 on paint supplies like brushes, rollers, paint sprayer, buckets, sandpaper, ladder, etc. If you want to paint doors, gutters, porches, window sashes, etc., an additional cost will be incurred.

By knowing the approximate cost of painting, you will be able to prepare yourself well. You can have a budget and must try to stick to it.

How much does painting the exterior of your entire home cost?

Painting the home’s exterior is a complicated job and needs proper planning. You should have the right kind of preparation and tools to complete the job successfully. Before you start the project, you should have an estimate of the cost of painting the entire house.

The cost of painting is based on the square footage of your home. If your home is single storied and between 500 and 1,500 square feet, then it will cost around $1,000 to $3,000. A two-storied house of area between 1,500 to 3,000 square feet will cost $3,000 to $4,500. A three-storied house of area between 3,000 to 6,000 square feet will cost $4,500 to more than $6,000. But many factors affect the price.

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